In 1946 musician Bobby Troup was driving west on 66 with his wife when he wrote the famous ode to the mother road, "Route 66". It was later recorded by Nat "King" Cole and most of the words bring back memories to me of my connections to the old road: "When you make that California trip...." I grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio. In 1959, I met a young lady from Los Angeles who was visiting her father in Cincy. I became enamored with her and decided to drive to California with a friend later that summer to visit her. This gave me the opportunity to travel Route 66 from St. Louis to Santa Monica and enjoy one of the first adventures of my young life as I went through parts of the country that I had never known. It was a great experience that I will never forget. I remember thinking, "Wow!" when I crossed into California.
"Now you go through St. Louis....You see Amarillo..." The time is late December of 1961. I have been in the Air Force for three months and have just completed Supply Tech School at Amarillo Air Force Base in Texas. I am trying to get to Cincinnati for Christmas via a Greyhound bus and after traveling all night via Route 66 I arrive in St. Louis at 7:00 a.m. to find that I missed my connecting bus to Ohio by fifteen minutes. This necessitated a wait until 4:30 that afternoon for the next bus. As unpleasant as that was, I will always fondly remember the camaraderie with my fellow servicemen on that long bus ride up 66.